(in)Stances

for two performers (spoken voice and found objects) (2006)
duration is c. 2′

 (in)Stances is a political performance kit in steel and magnets, composed for 2 vocalizing performers also playing freely chosen, found objects. The piece was commissioned for New York’s NYME Ensemble. The players align each graphic object (note) in the piece with a politically evocative word, projecting expressive content into each note.

These words originated from an edition of the New York Times print newspaper, selected through the non-intentioned lassitude of sleeplessness one early morning. Vague principles of ambiguity, multiplicity and political disillusionment guided my choices. While the words themselves are neutral, each one is charged with political, even emotional content.

Each note/word presents an isolated “instance” manifest by the performer into a “stance” or a fragment of propaganda.

Each performer chooses 50 words and 50 notes, building a customized score. The performers express the first 99 words as fast as possible by singing or speaking or interpreting the word or any part of a word as described in the score. With each vocal utterance the player also sounds a found object associated with the symbol and chosen freely by the performer.

Musical interpretation of the notes may take precedent over textual expression at any time but the audience should receive the ordered word list as part of the program. The 100th word is drawn out — time stretched — by the performers but then cut off suddenly before it finishes.

score excerpts:

 

 

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(in)Stances handmade steel and magnet score
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